Belle in concert on the Holland America Line Ship, 2008.
July 17, 1963 |
Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer–songwriter, record producer, actress|
|Associated acts||Peabo Bryson, Whitney Houston, James Taylor, Patti Austin, Anita Baker, Phyllis Hyman, Vesta Williams, Freddie Jackson, Lisa Stansfield, Johnny Mathis|
Regina Belle (born July 17, 1963) is an American singer–songwriter and actress who first started her career in the mid–1980s. Known for her singles, "Baby Come to Me" (1989) and "Make It Like It Was" (1990), Belle's most notable for two hit duets, both with Peabo Bryson: "Without You", the love theme from the comedy film Leonard Part 6, recorded in 1987 and "A Whole New World", the main theme of the Disney's animated feature film Aladdin, recorded in 1992, with which Belle and Bryson won the Grammy award.
Early life and education
Belle was born in Englewood, New Jersey. It was at Englewood's Mount Calvary Baptist Church, and then Paterson's Friendship Baptist Church (presided over by Belle's uncle, the Reverend Fred Belle), that Belle began attracting attention with her vocal abilities. She sang her first solo in church at age 8. Belle attended Dwight Morrow High School where she studied trombone, tuba and steel drums. After graduation, she studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music. At Rutgers University, she became the first female vocalist with the school's jazz ensemble. Belle's musical influences include Phyllis Hyman, Billie Holiday, Shirley Caesar, Patti LaBelle, and Nancy Wilson.
She was introduced to the Manhattans by New York radio DJ Vaughn Harper and began working as their opening act. She recorded the duet "Where Did We Go Wrong" with the group which helped to attract the attention of Columbia Records. They eventually signed her to a record deal.
In 1987, she released her debut album All by Myself. It includes her first hits "So Many Tears" and "Show Me the Way". In the same year, Belle recorded her first successful duet with Peabo Bryson: the song "Without You", the love theme from the comedy film Leonard Part 6, also released in 1987. The song was her first single to appear on the Adult Contemporary (chart), peaking at #8 and was also her first single to appear in four charts, including the UK Singles, peaking at #85, her best position in this chart until 1989. Her follow-up album, Stay with Me, released in 1989. Belle recorded a duet in 1991 with Johnny Mathis, "Better Together" which appeared on his album Better Together: The Duet Album. Continuing her tradition of duets, Belle teamed up with Peabo Bryson for four songs: "Without You" (in 1987), "I Can't Imagine" (in 1991), "A Whole New World" (in 1992) and "Total Praise" (in 2009). 
In 2001, her cover of "Just the Two of Us" from the tribute album To Grover, With Love made a surprising return to the billboard charts, within months Belle would sign with the jazz oriented independent label Peak-Concord Jazz. she released the album This Is Regina!, which featured the R&B hit single, "Ooh Boy" also released were, "Don't Wanna Go Home" and "From Now On" with Glenn Jones. In 2004, she released a jazz standard album, Lazy Afternoon, produced by George Duke. The album included covers of the Isley Brothers' "For the Love of You" and Tony Bennett's "If I Ruled the World". In 2007, she collaborated with smooth jazz saxophonist Paul Taylor, co-writing and singing on his album "Ladies Choice".
Belle released her debut gospel album Love Forever Shines on May 13, 2008 via Pendulum Records. The 14-track collection features guests Melvin Williams (of the Williams Brothers) and Shirley Murdock.
On June 5, 2012, she released on Pendulum her second gospel album, called "Higher", on which Belle stated: I think that, with the second CD ["Higher"] I had a better understanding of where I wanted to go [compared to "Love Forever Shines"]. Belle has appeared in concert with many other performers, including Ray Charles, Boney James, Paul Taylor, The Rippingtons, Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Maze, Frankie Beverly, Phil Perry, Al Jarreau, and Stephanie Mills.
Belle resides in Atlanta, Georgia and has been married to former NBA basketball player John Battle since 1991. The couple have four children: Tiy (born 1989), Jayln (born 1991), Sydney (born 1994), and Nyla (born November 10, 1995). Belle has at least two grandchildren.
|1987||All by Myself||85||14||—||—||53||—||Columbia|
|1989||Stay with Me||63||1||—||—||62||Gold|
|1998||Believe in Me||—||42||—||—||—||—||MCA|
|2001||This Is Regina!||—||61||—||—||—||Gold||Peak|
|2008||Love Forever Shines||119||15||—||3||—||—||Pendulum|
|2016||The Day Life Began||—||—||—||—||—||—||Shanachie Entertainment|
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified|
- 1997: Baby Come To Me: The Best Of Regina Belle
- 2001: Super Hits
- 2006: Love Songs
|1986||"Where Did We Go Wrong?" (with The Manhattans)||—||42||—||—||—||—|
|1987||"Show Me the Way"||68||2||—||—||—||97|
|"So Many Tears"||—||11||—||—||—||—|
|"Without You" (with Peabo Bryson)||89||14||8||—||—||85|
|1988||"How Could You Do It to Me"||—||21||—||—||—||—|
|"After the Love Has Lost Its Shine"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"You Got the Love"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1989||"All I Want Is Forever" (with James "J.T." Taylor)||—||2||34||—||—||—|
|"Baby Come to Me"||60||1||—||—||—||—|
|"Make It Like It Was"||43||1||5||—||—||—|
|1990||"What Goes Around"||—||3||—||—||—||—|
|"This Is Love"||—||7||29||—||—||—|
|1992||"Better Together" (with Johnny Mathis)||—||68||—||—||—||—|
|"A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)" (with Peabo Bryson)||1||21||1||—||—||12|
|1993||"If I Could"||52||9||12||—||—||—|
|"Dream in Color"||—||63||—||—||—||—|
|"The Deeper I Love"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994||"Far Longer Than Forever duet with Jeffery Osborne"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998||"Don't Let Go"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"I've Had Enough"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004||"For the Love of You"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008||"God Is Good"||—||83||—||—||2||—|
|"I Call on Jesus"||—||—||—||—||17||—|
|2012||"Make An Example Out Of Me"||—||—||—||—||19||—|
|"—" denotes the single failed to chart|
Awards and nominations
|1991||"Make It Like It Was"||Best Female R&B Vocal Performance||Nominated|
|1994||"A Whole New World" (with Peabo Bryson)||Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals||Won|
|1999||Believe in Me||Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album||Nominated|
|2002||This is Regina||Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album||Nominated|
- Regina Belle official website
- Regina Belle at AllMusic
-  Regina Belle 2016 Audio Interview at Soulinterviews.com
- Video of "Without You" as performed at the Soul Train: on YouTube.
- The official music video of "A Whole New World": on YouTube.
- Beckerman, Jim. "For Regina Belle, time for a special payback", The Record (Bergen County), October 31, 2004; accessed July 9, 2007
- Bryant, Scott Poulsen (1993), "Regina: A showstopper with star power", Essence Magazine 24, no. 4: 56-60; accessed May 6, 2008.
- Scott, Ron (2004). "Belle's Lazy afternoon", New York Amsterdam News 95, no. 37: 17; accessed May 5, 2008.
- Lopez, Robert. August 3, 2007. "Regina Belle knows about sacrifices", Knight Ridder Tribune Business News; accessed May 6, 2008.
- "Regina Belle Artist Chart History". Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- "Regina Belle Releases Gospel Album: Multi-Grammy Award winner's debut gospel project, 'Love Forever Shines' in stores soon.". EURweb.com. March 7, 2008.
- Quinn, Gwendolynn (March 5, 2008). "Multiple Grammy Winner Regina Belle Releases Debut Gospel Album". The Industry Cosign.
- "Regina Belle on Her New Gospel Album, 'Higher,' and Still Singing Her Secular Songs". YouTube. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
- Watrous, Peter (July 1, 1991). "Jazz Festival; Ray Charles's Silences, Regina Belle's Wildness". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- Profile, Ebony (December 1996).
- Harrington, Richard (November 9, 2007). "Free to be Regina Belle". Washington Post. p. WE05. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- "Regina Belle US chart history". billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- "Regina Belle US certification history". riaa.com. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- "Regina Belle UK chart history". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- "The Day Life Began by Regina Belle on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2016-02-24.